IOA chief PT Usha to meet protesting wrestlers

A day after Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat and Sakshi Malik lashed out at Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president PT Usha and athletes commission chief MC Mary Kom for not supporting their fight to get Wrestling Federation of India chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh punished. made a scathing attack on Track Great met the protesting wrestlers on Wednesday at their Jantar Mantar dharna.

P T Usha

Usha, who had staged her dharna accusing Singh of sexually harassing women wrestlers and demanding action as a form of indiscipline, offered her support and solidarity. The athletics icon spent around 30 minutes with the wrestlers on the 11th day of the strike. He didn’t talk to the media.

“Usha ma’am has extended her support to our cause. Better late than never,” said Punia. “We have the utmost respect for him as an athlete. He said that his earlier statements were misinterpreted.

Speaking to the media after the IOA’s executive council meeting last Thursday, Usha said, “IOA has an Athletes’ Commission and these wrestlers should have come to us instead of hitting the streets.”

“Athletes should have been disciplined. If their problems were genuine, they should have come to us first. If they were not satisfied with us, they could have gone anywhere. But hitting the streets is not good for sport, no Only for wrestlers.

Usha’s visit was followed by a meeting of senior IOA officials on Tuesday night in which it was decided that she should approach the wrestlers to save the image of the apex sports body.

Protesters had expressed their displeasure over Usha’s comments and boxing legend Mary – she was the head of the Union Sports Ministry’s inspection committee that probed her initial complaint – did not comment on the issue.

Usha’s visit helped in damage control, although the wrestlers were wary. “She came across as a good person. She has risen to the top of the IOA but is being hoodwinked by politicians. We still have a lot of respect for her as an athlete,” said Phogat.

Punia said: “He assured us that justice will be done. So far, the assurances have not been good, but we respect their sentiments.”

“She said that she wants to see us compete and win medals for the country. She feels disappointed that we are sitting here. She also said that such investigations take time and we should be patient.”

“He is also a Rajya Sabha member, we have requested him to take up our issue.”

‘Don’t trust Delhi Police’

Wrestlers accused Delhi Police of spreading misinformation about their sit-in – it has registered two First Information Reports (FIRs) based on complaints from seven wrestlers.

We do not trust Delhi Police. They are under severe political pressure and are playing cheap tricks to defame us.

The wrestlers alleged that an NGO team that wanted to meet them on Wednesday morning was told by the police that the protesters had vacated the site.

“The police are telling people that we go to a hotel at night and come back the next day by noon. We have booked some rooms to take bath but sleep overnight at Jantar Mantar. Anyone who wants to verify is welcome,” Malik said.

His lawyer Narendra Hooda said the police were resorting to “delaying tactics”. The next hearing of his case in the Supreme Court is on Thursday.

“So far, Delhi Police has served notices to six of the seven complainants, out of whom four have recorded their statements. The statement of the minor was recorded two days ago without any notice. This means that five complainants have deposed before the police and we are hopeful that all seven will record their statements before tomorrow.

“These statements have been taken under section 161 of the CrPC. Statements given to the police are not admissible in the court. The aggrieved wrestlers should be asked to give statements before a magistrate for admissibility of their statements.

“We want the statements to be recorded under section 168. It should have been done by now. Brij Bhushan has become a TV star and the Delhi Police has not been able to interrogate him yet. All this gives us enough ammunition to chase them down the court.

In Jalandhar, Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur warned not to act in haste in the matter. “You cannot arrest anyone without probing the matter thoroughly,” he said.

“No one can jump the gun. Delhi Police has registered an FIR and investigation is on. Strict action will be taken against whoever is found guilty. I am completely against any kind of media trial.

World body seeks clarity

PTI reported that United World Wrestling (UWW) president Nenad Lalovic has sought clarity on who is running the sport in the country.

In a letter to the WFI dated April 28, he wrote that it is not clear who runs the day-to-day affairs of the body, although it appears that the general secretary (VN Prasad) “is still in office and works actively”. “.

The WFI in its reply said, ‘We were going to write to the UWW for an observer for the said elections (initially planned on May 7), but the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports intervened and issued instructions that it is null and void and shall be conducted by the IOA, which is against the stipulations of the IOC Charter.”

The IOA’s ad-hoc committee will hold its first meeting on Thursday.

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